“We have been contacted by several users who arrive at Banco de Portugal noting that they are being contacted on behalf of Banco de Portugal through text messages and even telephone calls”, stated the director of information systems at BdP , Carlos Moura.

People affected have received messages signed by a number that imitates the identity (‘spoofing’) of the BdP and which suggests that access to the accounts may be compromised.

Affected customers are then made to call a telephone number that simulates the BdP helpline and whose “level of service is very similar” to that of the central bank itself.

“This is the topic that concerns us most at the moment, because the level of service is very similar to our user support service and, somehow, people are induced into this type of error because people end up even presenting themselves as employees of Banco de Portugal”, added Carlos Moura.

After this contact, victims are asked to install a program that resembles an antivirus on their cell phone with the aim of checking for compromised information and are told to access their bank accounts.

The indicated program works like 'malware' and ends up removing access credentials from user accounts.

According to Carlos Moura, the BdP has already received “several hundred calls” at its call center and several dozen in the regional network.

Anyone who receives a call on their cell phone in which the number being called is supposedly that of the BdP should report the case to the authorities and contact Banco de Portugal, which can be done via email at info@bportugal.pt or by dialling the number (+351) 213 130 000.